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Four-Run First Inning in Nightcap Propels Warriors to Little East Conference Split

Sara Pisanelli is greeted by head coach Diana Pepin while en route to a solo home run in the fourth inning of Eastern's 7-2 second-game win over UMass Dartmouth Saturday. The home run is the third in three games for Pisanelli, who is 8-for-11 at the plate in those contests.
Sara Pisanelli is greeted by head coach Diana Pepin while en route to a solo home run in the fourth inning of Eastern's 7-2 second-game win over UMass Dartmouth Saturday. The home run is the third in three games for Pisanelli, who is 8-for-11 at the plate in those contests.

MANSFIELD, Conn. – Sophomore Alexis Tyrrell (Torrington) and junior Sara Pisanelli (Wallingford)  combined for nine hits, four RBI and three runs scored as the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team split a Little East Conference doubleheader with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Clyde Washburne Field.

UMass (10-10, 3-1 LEC)  won the opener behind sophomore Jill Richards'  complete-game six-hitter, 5-2. In the second game, junior lefties Jacky Arndt (Chelmsford, MA) and Morgan Sanson (Thomaston) combined on a five-hitter and Pisanelli and freshman Julia SanGiovanni (East Haven) each had three of Eastern's (12-4, 3-1 LEC) and six different batters drove in a run in a 7-2 victory.

On the day, Pisanelli was 5-of-7 with a solo home run and two runs and Tyrrell had four hits and three RBI, with SanGiovanni and freshman Brooke Matyasovski (Orange) each collecting three hits.

In the nightcap, Eastern reached freshman starter Anna Kerwood (Florence, MA) for four runs in the first when it batted around. Tyrrell, Pisanelli and SanGiovanni had consecutive hits to account for the first run, Matyasovsky made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly, senior Jackie Lewis (Mystic) driving in the third run with a single and the fourth run scoring on an error.

Arndt allowed only three hits over the first 3 1/3 and Sanson gained her second win of the year against a loss by shutting out the Corsairs over the final 3 2/3 innings.

In the opener, UMass wiped out a 2-0 deficit (Tyrrell driving in a pair with a single) by scoring once in the fifth and exploding for four in the sixth by batting around and capitalizing on four hits, a walk and hit-by-pitch. Freshman Lauren Talbot's  two-out, two-run single knocked in the final two runs of the inning.

Since going 5-for-37, Pisanelli is 8-of-11 in her last three games, with Saturday's five hits moving her to within two of 100 in her career and her home run her third in that three-game span. Sanson appeared in both games on the mound allowing only one earned run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings.

On the day, six UMass hitters combined evenly on 12 of the Corsair's 14 hits. Batting eighth, Talbot plated four runs with two singles in the first game and with an infield ground ball in the nightcap.

Eastern visits Rhode Island College Tuesday at 4 p.m. for a conference doubleheader.